Statement by the Secretary General Thomas E. Garrett on Ukraine’s Independence Day 

August 24, 2023

Today, I join Ukrainians in observing Independence Day and reiterate my continued support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and the right to freedom of its people. 

This 32nd Independence Day is bittersweet for many Ukrainians. Thousands face tragic losses or injuries, millions have left their homes, and countless others suffer due to the brutal war crimes of Russia.

But almost eighteen months after the Kremlin’s unprovoked military aggression on Ukraine, the Ukrainian nation stands strong, inspiring the world with its courage and determination to defend its democracy. 

Today, with many of the Member States of the Community of Democracies, I pause to recognize and honor the remarkable spirit of the Ukrainian people, recalling those dedicated public servants in government and the parliament and the vibrant civil society I met with during my visit to Ukraine in July 2023. I especially celebrate the young leaders who have emerged, taking on pivotal roles in society, business, and politics- they will forever change their country. 

In moments when optimism may seem elusive, Ukrainians must remember: democracies around the world stand with you. These past months have shown that this support, whether military assistance or moral solidarity, is unwavering. The global chorus of support for Ukraine’s battle as the frontline of democracy is growing louder, and the global commitment is more resounding.